Hartley, Percy


Bolton 1885



Biographical Text

Percy Hartley, Bolton-born and signed from Chorley, was a regular for Exeter City in the Southern League in 1909/10 before moving on to Rochdale. He later coached in Belgium for many years and was a prisoner in both world wars.  

Percy began his footballing career as an amateur at Bolton St Lukes and later helped Astley Bridge St Pauls. Making steady progress he attracted the attention of Atherton Church House where he turned semi-professional. Signing for Preston North End in 1906/07, he played three league matches before a knee injury hampered his progress. Asking for a transfer he left to play for Atherton (where he won the Lancashire Junior Cup against Colne for whom ex-Grecian Albert Ambler was playing) ahead of short spells with Huddersfield and Chorley.

With Preston retaining his Football League registration and insisting on a £600 fee should other member clubs require his services, Percy continued to play outside the competition when he joined Exeter City of the Southern League in 1909. Making his debut for the Grecians against Norwich City at St James’ Park in September 1909 he made 34 appearances (scoring six goals) before signing for Rochdale the following season.

Percy was struck with injury again and soon joined Rossendale United where he won the Lancashire Junior Cup. In 1913 he joined Belgian club Verviers as a coach until the outbreak of World War One broke out. Percy then spent the next few years as a German prisoner before rejoining Verviers in 1919 and moving on to Royal FC in 1924 as trainer. He subsequently took a similar appointment with Standard Liege ahead of working with Charleroi, Amay Sportif and Standard Liege once more.

Held prisoners in the Second World War, Percy and his wife were eventually released in a prisoner-exchange and returned to Bolton where he worked at Egerton Dye Works for many years.







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